Since its construction in 1991, the Catalunya circuit has been a popular testing location. For that reason, it’s one of the best known tracks for drivers and riders as they annually descend on the circuit.
Situated north of Barcelona, in Montmelo, the Catalunya circuit opened in 1991, the same year in which it hosted its first Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix. The event grew in popularity in the 2000s thanks to the rising reputation and growing fame of local hero Fernando Alonso. The track has been a mainstay on the F1 calendar for almost thirty years, but 2019 is the last year of its current contract to host the event.
Catalunya has seen plenty of memorable moments over its tenure as Spanish Grand Prix hosts including a masterful drive from Michael Schumacher in the wet in 1996, Pastor Maldonado’s sole F1 victory in 2012 and Max Verstappen’s first win in 2016.
The track hasn’t changed much since 1991, though the first of the last two sweeping corners was replaced with a slower chicane section in 2007. As such, Catalunya isn’t known for an abundance of overtaking opportunities, though turns one and four are among the best places to get the job done. The track has played host to plenty of forms of motorsport over the years, but currently F1 and MotoGP are the only major annual events. The circuit has hosted motorcycle racing since 1992, when the European motorcycle Grand Prix first took place at the track. The event was renamed the Catalan Grand Prix in 1996.
Learn more: First, Last & Only: Spanish Grand Prix /Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in numbers
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is located near Montmelo, around 30km north east of Barcelona city centre.
Barcelona International Airport (BCN) is located in El Prat de Llobregat, 10km south west of the city centre. Budget carriers fly into the regional airports in either Reus (REU) or Girona-Costa Brava (GRO), both of which are located approximately 100km from Barcelona.
How to get to the circuit:
- Train: One of the most popular ways to get to the Catalunya circuit is to take the train to Montmelo. Take the Renfe R2 (dark green) or R2 Nord (light green) train from either Sants Estacio, Passeig de Gracia or El Clot in the direction of Granollers or Saint Celoni. The train journey will take around 20-30 minutes, while the circuit is a further 30-45 minute walk from the station.
- Shuttle bus: There is a shuttle bus which runs from Montmelo town centre to the circuit. Tickets cost around €2 each way.
- Bus: Sagales runs a regular bus service on Grand Prix weekend from Estació del Nord to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The journey takes around 45 minutes and takes you only 300 metres from the circuit entrance. Daily return tickets are priced at 15 EUR.
- Taxi: Official Barcelona taxis, which are black and yellow with a green light on their bonnets, are an affordable way to get about. Expect to pay around €10 per fifteen minute journey
- Car Rental: The circuit is located between two major highways, making it easy to get to by car. Browse rentals in Barcelona with Rentalcars.com
More information about getting to Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix can be found on F1Destinations: Getting There & Around – Spanish Grand Prix.
For most events, we recommend staying in Barcelona. It’s not that hard to get to the circuit by car or public transport, and there’s a world class selection of hotels, restaurants, shopping and nightlife in the Catalan capital.
The closest hotels are Hotel ibis Barcelona Montmelo Granollers and Holiday Inn Express Barcelona – Montmelo, both of which are a short walk from the circuit gates. These will not be available on most race weekends however. Nearby Montmelo has several hotels and a campground. Click here for all hotels near to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
If you want to combine your trip to the circuit with a beach holiday, there’s plenty of hotels, apartments and campsites on the nearby Costa Brava, but you’ll need a car to get to and from the circuit.
More information about where to stay for the Spanish Grand Prix can be found on F1Destinations: Accommodation – Spanish Grand Prix
Discover Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during a guided tour. Also available during F1 testing!
- About: Tours are available throughout the year, normally on Sundays from 10:00-12:00. Taking 60-75 minutes, you will see the Briefing Room, Race Control, the Paddock, the Podium, the Media Centre and the Pit Garages.
- Cost: 10 EUR for adults, 5 EUR for children 6-15 years (under 6 FREE)
- More information & Register: click here
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya runs regular track days and driving experiences are also available.
- You can take your own car or motorbike on the circuit for €45, including insurance. Check the calendar and book your track day here.
- You can also drive a Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini on the circuit. The GT Driving Experience is offered all-year round. Driving one lap of the circuit costs under 150 and packages with a circuit tour and lunch are also available. More information here.